Gein's Family Giftshop: Volume 3

★★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Gein's Family Giftshop
Published 09 Aug 2017

The Salford sketch troupe named after the serial killer who made trophies out of bones and skin are back. And they are a man down. James Meehan couldn’t make it, so they’ve enlisted a "privately educated" serious thespian sort to be the butt of many jokes in his absence. His poshness is used as a foil for their working class, feminist-leaning dark art, mostly performed in PE kits.

Scowling Kath Hughes and simpering Ed Easton do sterling work as a double act, allowing the third wheel to come on occasionally for a bit of ridiculing, and his dignified stoicism in the face of their prolonged abuse works very well.

Co-written by Kiri Pritchard-McLean, who’s performing elsewhere in the Pleasance Courtyard with her solo show, Appropriate Adult, the material varies from a mimed slaughtering of an imaginary pet to a scene where helium makes all phrases sound instantly cuter. “All lives matter!”, chipmunks Hughes, before dropping a harsh bombshell on Easton, sugarcoated by the helium. 

They mine the same kind of creepy seam as The League of Gentlemen, with bits of clowny, physical theatre added in – a rollercoaster skit that goes south is a highlight. And their shuffling about with the chronology of the show is very smart too. It couldn’t be called good clean fun. It’s not, and they’d be mortally offended, but it is very funny, in a subtly off colour way.